Before we headed north on Thursday, we took a morning walk down the Fern Canyon Trail in Van Damme where we were camping. It was overcast without sun – a little dull but a nice leg-stretcher before our 100-mile drive. There were all kinds of wildflowers but the trillium stood out.
Suitably refreshed, we took off north on Highway 1. The road winds along the edge of the Pacific for 30 miles and then heads inland and really starts to twist. Dave did a great job but the 10 or 15 miles it took to get to Leggett seemed very long. It definitely got better when we got onto Highway 101. We were very happy to reach Myers Flat and found a very nice newly-opened campground on the Eel River (The Giant Redwoods RV Camp). Jody and Michael are very friendly managers, satellite reception and WiFi are good so we decided to stay a while.
On Friday, we had a little trouble finding the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center, but once there, we got some advice on where to hike and went to the north end of the spread-out park to hike the Drury-Chaney Loop Trail. We walked into the trees and the trail immediately took on the aspect of a fairyland. The tall redwoods were totally surrounded by a rolling carpet of Redwood Sorrel, a three-leafed clover with a beautiful flower – some white, some pink. It was eerily quiet except for a few birds. Wonderful.
We went for a short hike on Saturday morning through the Rockefeller Redwood Grove and along Bull Creek. Many of the longer hikes are not available because the seasonal bridges over Bull Creek aren’t in place yet. Oh well. The consolation is that the park is virtually empty. Luckily, we showed up when we did. Next week is the traditional Avenue of the Giants Marathon. We’ll be happy to miss that.
After a leisurely breakfast on Sunday morning we set out to do a few more short trails in Humboldt State Park. Stephen’s Grove Trail fit the bill. We marveled at the tall trees and lush foliage. (The first picture below has been enhanced with Photoshop.) After a picnic lunch and another walk, we retired (love that word!) back to the Lazy Daze. Our first week on the road has been great.
One more picture – the mystery tree in the Giant Redwoods RV and Camp. We don’t know what it is but it has both vivid red and green leaves and sprays of white flowers. Very dramatic.